Digital Art vs. Traditional Art: Similarities and Differences

Ever since digital art entered the scene, it has sparked a great debate in the industry. It has brought about a total eclipse in the art industry. Most people believe that true art lies in traditional ways. While we can’t say how true that is, we can only affirm that digital art has come along with all its baggage.

Perhaps the debate is sparked by the notion that digital art feels like cheating. It is an assisted form of art that the artist does not have to be fully absorbed like a traditional artist would have. There are a lot of perhaps. Perhaps the heated debate is there because anybody can learn and practice digital art, unlike traditional art where it takes talent.

Whatever the case is, both are currently existing forms of art. Controversies aside, we have shared our thoughts on both types of art. Their similarities and differences. If you are contemplating which route to take, keep reading to find out what can work best for you.

What is Traditional Art?

Traditional art is created using a physical medium that was used over a thousand years ago. This art has been continually developed and improved over the years, but the outstanding fact is, it has been there since time immemorial. Some of the medium used in traditional art includes charcoal, pencil, oil paint, canvas, clay, wood among other techniques.

Advantages of Traditional Art

To compare the two types of art more closely, we first need to look at their strengths and weaknesses. Here, we have listed the advantages and disadvantages of using traditional art. Keep reading.

  1.   Single original piece of work

Every piece of traditional art out there is exceptional. It cannot be copied in any way. Not even by the original artist. This means that every art produced traditionally is rare in every aspect. That explains why this form of art is most sought and why many art lovers are willing to pay a mint of money for it.

  1.   It is hard to replicate

Art theft is almost a non-existent issue in traditional art. It cannot be copied unless of course, you are doing an actual digital print photocopying. Which does not make any sense. Its value is only in its original state.

  1.   Has tactility and physical feedback

A traditional artist feels every bit of the art as it forms on the surface. The dragging of the pencil across the canvas or the friction of the knife on a piece of wood. It all arouses and helps the artist to be fully immersed in his work.

  1.   Requires physical materials

Less is very important in this form of art. There are limited materials to use so you have to make do. There is a catch to this. It helps you to work smart with features like texture, outline, markings among other things.

  1.   Makes you considerate and thoughtful

It is hard to fix some mistakes when working on an art piece traditionally. You have to critically think before you get to work and to be immersed to avoid unnecessary mistakes that cannot be undone.

  1.   It is so engaging

Traditional art is all about passion. When you are passionate about something, you get so immersed and carried away. You will not even know where the time went.

Disadvantages of Traditional Art

As it is, there is always the flip side of every coin. As much as traditional art sounds like the golden goose, it has its disadvantages.

  1.   Does not allow mistakes

If you make a mistake in your painting, it will be hard to fix. You might even have to start afresh. You have to be careful and focused to avoid this.

  1.   Needs a lot of planning

It takes a lot of thought processes to manifest a masterpiece. Most traditional artists will take months and even years to start working on a piece. Because they need to think and visualize it.

  1.   Hard to capture on camera

A camera is a perfect tool for capturing images. However, it cannot capture every fine detail in your artwork. This means that every time you snap a picture of your art, the full impression is not conveyed.

  1.   Requires a lot of stock and tools

You need to buy so many physical materials and stock them prior to starting your work. This demands space to safely store them.

  1.   Not very portable

Unlike digital art where you need not carry anything, traditional art will require you to physically transport them. It is both hectic and unsafe for you and your valuable art.

Advantages of Digital Art

  1.   It is convenient to create

Digital art is convenient to create. This is because you have all the art supplies you need just at the click of your mouse. All you need physically is you and your fingertips.

  1.   Easy to make changes and corrections

It is very easy to correct mistakes in digital art. If you overpainted a piece, all you need to do is to undo it. You can switch and test features like colors as much as you want.

  1.   The process is fast

You can progress a digital art way faster than traditional art. Whatever takes an hour in digital, it might take weeks in traditional.

  1.   Art tools are accessible

All you have to do is to download all the tools you need, and you are ready to start working on your digital art. Just as simple as that.

  1.   Easy on beginners

Starting digital art is not as terrifying as traditional art. This type of art gives you room to make mistakes and correct them. This is all thanks to undo and delete features in our computers.

Disadvantages of digital art

  1.   It makes one lazy and careless

The fact that you can easily undo and delete mistakes can make you less careful. Digital artists are more prone to bad habits compared to traditional ones.

  1.   It can get overwhelming for learners and beginners

There are so many tools and methods involved in this form of art. It can get so overwhelming and confusing for a newbie artist.

  1.   It relies on the power of your computer

This can be limiting. If the electricity goes off, you will not be able to work. If your computer gets spoiled, it means you have lost or cannot access your work.

  1.   Can be copied and reproduced

Anything digital can easily be reproduced, downloaded, and misused. For as long as you upload them online, you can’t control what your consumers will do with your art. This means that it is not as valuable as the traditional.

  1.   Software needs subscription

Most software used for digital art needs subscriptions. Most of them are so expensive and you might need to renew your subscription every month.


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